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Romantic Shades and Shadows

Susan J. Wolfson

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Haunting’s consequences for the literary imagination.

Reading is a weirdly phantasmic trade: animating words to revive absent voices, rehearing the past, fantasizing a future. In Romantic Shades and Shadows, Susan J. Wolfson explores spectral language, formations, and sensations, defining an apparitional poetics in the finely grained textures of writing and their effects on present reading.

Framed by an introductory chapter on writing and apparition and an afterword on haunted reading, the book includes chapters of sustained, revelatory close attention to the particular, often peculiar…

Haunting’s consequences for the literary imagination.

Reading is a weirdly phantasmic trade: animating words to revive absent voices, rehearing the past, fantasizing a future. In Romantic Shades and Shadows, Susan J. Wolfson explores spectral language, formations, and sensations, defining an apparitional poetics in the finely grained textures of writing and their effects on present reading.

Framed by an introductory chapter on writing and apparition and an afterword on haunted reading, the book includes chapters of sustained, revelatory close attention to the particular, often peculiar, literary imaginations of William Wordsworth, William Hazlitt, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron, W. B. Yeats, and John Keats. Wolfson also explores the work of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (a self-confessed Ghost-Theorist), Mary Shelley, and other writers of the Long Romantic era, canonical as well as less familiar. All are encountered in freshly pointed ways on an arc of investigation that builds with generative force.

Romantic Shades and Shadows is written with a lucidity, wit, and accessibility that will appeal to general readers, and with a critical sophistication and scholarly expertise that will engage advanced students, critics, and professional peers.

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Romantic Shades and Shadows

Susan J. Wolfson

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Reviews

Reviews

This challenging study of apparitional epistemology is not for the fainthearted. Including extensive and interesting page notes, this book is for specialists with a linguistic background.

A magnificent achievement in verse reading—and prose reading—and, indeed, reading of a range of significant Romantic authorships in their historic moments. It should be welcomed by everyone with a ready eye.

How supremely quotable Wolfson is. From beginning to end, Romantic Shades and Shadows is engrossing, challenging, and deeply rewarding, one of the very best books published on Romantic poetry this decade. It will haunt us all.

There are treasures in all of these chapters.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
272
ISBN
9781421425542
Illustration Description
16 halftones, 1 line drawing
Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Texts
Abbreviations
1. Setting the Stage: Apparitions of Writing
2. Shades of Will + Words + Worth: What's in a Name?
3. Hazlitt’s Conjurings: First Acquaintance & "Quaint Allusion"
4

List of Illustrations
Texts
Abbreviations
1. Setting the Stage: Apparitions of Writing
2. Shades of Will + Words + Worth: What's in a Name?
3. Hazlitt’s Conjurings: First Acquaintance & "Quaint Allusion"
4. Shelley’s Phantoms of the Future in 1819
5. Me and My Shadows: Byron's Company of Ghosts
6. Shades of Relay: Yeats's Latent Keats / Keats's Latent Yeats
7. After Wording: Writing of Apparitions
Acknowledgments
Notes
Works Cited
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Susan J. Wolfson, Ph.D.

Susan J. Wolfson is a professor of English at Princeton University. She is the author of Reading John Keats and Romantic Interactions: Social Being and the Turns of Literary Action.